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Boeing 737 MAX 10 Approved for Testing

With Backorders Waiting, Certification Can't Come Soon Enough for Paused Model

Boeing's 737 MAX 10 has been given the go-ahead for type-inspection authorization by the FAA, allowing the regulator to begin its own testing on the aircraft after hundreds of in-house flights.

Boeing is understandably antsy to get that type certificate in hand for the MAX 10, given a long line of backorders that numbers somewhere north of 1,000 aircraft. The MAX 10's development timeline suffered badly at the hands of the 737 MAX debacle, being grounded after some highly visible crashes and a continued subject of congressional humming and hawing. Design changes mandated by the MAX family's regulatory review added additional delays to the process, shaking up the flight deck of the near-production aircraft at the 11th hour with a few new switches and alarms.

Ultimately, despite rolling off the line into fresh air for the first time in 2019, the aircraft didn't take flight until midway through 2021. The delay gave Airbus a rare chance to pick up orders around the world, particularly finding success with a new crop of ULCC's and aircraft lessors. But time is up for the long time rival - Boeing says it expects MAX 10 certification by 2024.

Boeing's delay in shipping the MAX 10 has had a trickle-down effect on carriers as they keep older 737 aircraft beyond their original retirement date. Southwest Airlines, an all-Boeing fleet operator, is currently waiting on a bit fewer than 200 MAX-10s, once expecting the first deliveries of the type in 2022.



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